Rocket League's Block Party Event Gives A Nod To The Game's Most Passionate Hoops Players

Rocket League’s Block Party Event Gives A Nod To The Game’s Most Passionate Hoops Players

Rocket League’s new The Block Party in-game event focuses on its Hoops game mode, one of the game’s extra modes that combines Rocket League’s high-flying battlecar mechanics with basketball.

The event runs until October 18 and celebrates the new The Block arena, the first new Hoops arena since the introduction of the game mode in 2016, which takes Hoops out of the stadium and into the city streets. In addition to checking out the new arena, players can complete in-game challenges based around the game mode to unlock exclusive basketball-themed cosmetics, and even purchase Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ as a player anthem.

As you could imagine, scoring through a raised basketball hoop requires a lot more vertical control than regular Rocket League game modes, making Hoops a favorite for players who love mid-air passing, shooting, and of course, dunking.

When the Hoops game mode was first released in 2016, these passionate players banded together to create Ranked Hoops, a fan-made community that runs Hoops tournaments (often with cash prizes!) and maintains an independent ranking system specific to the game mode.

For dedicated fans of Hoops, Snow Day, and Dropshot, it can sometimes feel like new development for these extra modes is an afterthought. While traditional Soccar is by far the most popular game mode, all players love to see their favorite modes get new arenas and attention from Rocket League developers.

That’s why this event means a little bit extra to those in the Ranked Hoops community. I reached out to MythicPinkMist, long-time Ranked Hoops member and administrator, to learn more about how the community reacted to Hoops’ first new arena.

“There’s been a lot of excitement within the community,” he said, “By and large, these extra modes have not received many changes since their release. Suddenly getting this kind of attention means that Psyonix is willing to put additional developer time into these modes, which is a great sign for both our own community but also the other extra mode communities.”

In addition to the in-game content, this event was also the subject of an “Under the Hood” video (Rocket League’s developer blog series)with Rocket League Senior Community Manager Devin Connors, Senior 3D Artist Adam Beckwith, and Josh Watson, Senior Game Designer. When asked about upcoming new areas for extra modes in the near future, Watson responded, “We don’t have anything planned currently, but as long as there’s a community of people who are interested in those modes, they want to play it, and they want the support, we’re always listening and we’re always gauging feedback.”

Finally, when signing off at the end of the video, Connors points to the camera and exclaims “Shout out Ranked Hoops!” Both Watson’s promise to keep listening to the extra mode communities, and Connors’ direct shoutout are encouraging to members of Ranked Hoops.

MythicPinkMist agrees, stating “A direct shout out is validation for all the effort we put in to building this community. It has been a labor of love, started all the way back in 2016. Certainly the highlight over the years was when Psyonix first made Hoops a ranked mode — previously all extra modes were unranked. If it isn’t clear from our organization’s name, our original raison d’etre was to drum up support for making Hoops a ranked mode. This new map and accompanying shoutout are a close second to the day that original goal was accomplished.”

In the future, MythicPinkMist would love to see Hoops presented alongside mainstream Rocket League events: “We’d love to see some Psyonix-sponsored Hoops content on the pro circuit in the future. RLCS has had side events that occasionally feature extra modes or more recently a ‘freestyle’ competition. We’d love to see a side event dedicated to Hoops. One of the goals of our community has been to push the level of Hoops competition to new heights and to show it to the masses. A significant number of pro players and rising stars have played in our weekly tournaments, so many of them are no strangers to the mode. We’re biased, of course, but we think the verticality of Hoops play and the smaller arena size makes for a great viewer experience.”

Rocket League is home to diverse and dedicated subcommunities, and Ranked Hoops is one of the most well-organized groups I’ve encountered. For those interested in joining Rocket League‘s most passionate Hoops players, or even just seeing some incredible slam dunks, check out the Ranked Hoops Twitter, or join their welcoming Discord server.

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